The Fat Girl Chronicles

The above title is a misnomer.

I’m no longer a girl and I seriously doubt that this part of my blog will be erudite enough to be called chronicles. But I did want to “chronicle” my life as an overweight girl, teen, woman.

It’s been a blast…NOT!

Let’s start where a lot of stories start: in the present.

My latest trip to the doctor’s office was not a good one. My weight was up (yeah, it’s been up most of my life but now it was even MORE up) and my blood pressure was up. To add insult to injury, my cholesterol level was up. To be honest it really wasn’t up that much but I did confess not to taking the anti-cholesterol medicine that much because it caused leg cramps. And then he asked me if I were taking my BP drugs. Like: Nuh-duh! Of course I was.

So I left his office with a prescription for a cholesterol-lowering drug that is not generic and so costs more and a prescription for a diuretic (make for the old lady on water pills) and an appointment to return in one month to see if I’ve lost any weight and the BP is down.

Re: high BP and weight. Have you MET my husband. Oh, he’s a love. Sweet, generous, and would never deny me anything. But he’s had some health issues (maybe elevating my BP) and his weight is also up, He’s become more sedentary…all earning him the award of having a wife who bitches at him to take better care of himself.

Er…Mitzi. Look in the mirror.

So what did I do upon leaving Dr. M.?

I spent one week pouting.

And then I spent another week in denial.

And then I spent another week trying to decide what I was going to do.

And then I finally went to work on me.

I rejoined Weight Watchers this week. Yeah, that was “rejoined” and I’m doing it online since at most of the meetings, I’m the biggest one there. I hear the “I have to lose 20 pounds” bullshit. And for future reference, my weight today was 217.  As soon as I joined Weight Watchers online, their message boards (what I really need is a community) went down.

There is the curse of Mitzi. I had joined a Curves near me this winter and a week later if went out of business

I got some meditation aps for weight loss and eating healthy and started listening to them when all was quiet.

I had joined a local Y but the weight room is a glass-walled area next to a gym where kids play. I didn’t go back. It felt too much like elementary school where I was teased and mocked.

But I do have a stationary recumbent bike (bad back) and I started to use that. I could only do fifteen minutes at a time since I am so out of shape but I’m doing it…and counting my “Fit Points.” I’m saving the 40 extra (I forgot what they’re calling them now) Points for our Friday night Mazzola’s trip…one slice, a couple of cheese sticks, and one Miller Lite (or two, I think they’re only 3 Points).

So I’m trying. I look at food and my brain calculates how it would fit in my Points for the day.

Well, time for a poached egg with a tbsp. of guacamole on toast – 5 Points.

I hope you come with me on this journey…even if you are thin and sevelte.

 

Entry: April 22. 2016

This blog about trying to lose weight (I set no unrealistic goals for myself) is a bit of a memoir about living life big…fat…large.

So maybe we should start at the beginning.

When I was a little girl, I was…well, little. In fact if memory serves me (and, of course, sometimes memory is tricking…that’s why they’re “memoirs” and not “autobiographies” – but I digress…if memory serves, I was a bit underweight around the age of six. I remember being in a hospital in Washington, D.C. near where we lived. And I remember people being concerned that I had some big, bad disease.

The upshot was that I didn’t have a big, bad disease. I just didn’t like to eat. My parents had been raised in the Depression and food was almost a religion to them…it was the “Clean Your Plate” mantra that I heard. I wanted to be a good girl, so I started to clean my plate…and then some.

By eight years old, I was getting “chubby.” In fact, that was the name of the dresses (back in the 1950s/60s girls couldn’t wear slacks to school) that my parents bought me at Sears—“Chubbies.” Talk about great for the little (not) girl’s ego.

It was about the same time that one of my father’s business partners started calling me “Fat Little Rosa.” My dad was Italian. We lived above the barbershop and I was in and out of it during the day. So Harry Brady nicknamed me “Fat Little Rosa” as in “here comes Fat Little Rosa.” The difficult part of it was that Pop didn’t correct him. In fact, Pop would laugh like everyone else in the shop…every male in the shop.

A few years later I heard one of Pop’s friends tell him, “Frank, at least you have one pretty daughter.” Pop didn’t correct him and I knew he wasn’t talking about me.

Our family would take Sunday rides in the country and whenever we would get to a sign that said, “One ton load only,” I would hear from Pop. “Mitzi, you have to get out of the car.” It was the idea that, if you tease and torment someone often enough about their “problem,” they would change their ways. Nope. Actually it made me want that extra helping of mashed potatoes or pasta

Of course the teasing and bullying didn’t stop at home.

Every summer we visited an aunt for a week. My cousin, a boy several years older than me, tormented me the entire week.

And school was almost a constant reminder that because of my weight, I was an outcast. Now I might not have been treated like that, but I sure as hell believed it.

I believed it for many years.

And there are times, I still believe it.

Oh, by the way. I’ve lost two pounds since I joined Weight Watchers earlier this week.  I’m celebrating with a slice and two Miller Lites (3 Points for each bottle and 9 points for the slice), helping to use my extra weekly points.

May 2, 2016

You can tell that I’m not shy about being fat, overweight, chubby, voluptuous, or any of those adjectives. I’m also not shy about how I’ve been battling whatever the response others had to my size and shape for most of my life.

This morning I opened my New York Times email to find an article about what has happened to many/most of the contestants on the reality TV show, The Biggest Loser. Briefly, some scientists have discovered that no matter how much weight you lose and how much you devote yourself to maintenance of that weight loss, you are unknowingly fighting a losing (forgive the pun) battle with your own battle and your own hormones.

I shared the article and my feelings about it on a Facebook post:

I’ve been overweight for most of my life, starting at age 8. In the 1950s teasing was the way to go, embarrassing your child, making them feel ashamed. Of course the weight crept up because I needed an escape.
Finally we’re realizing that we are not people with no willpower. Finally there is a real reason that people who lose weight, regain it. Finally there is a scientific and not a personal problem.
This quote made my day, my week, my year, maybe even my life. I am not less of a person because I find weight loss and maintaining any loss difficult:
“The difficulty in keeping weight off reflects biology, not a pathological lack of willpower affecting two-thirds of the U.S.A.”
It just took sixty years and a whole lot of pain.
Blessings to these courageous people.

Contestants lost hundreds of pounds during Season 8, but gained them back. A study of their struggles helps explain why so many people fail to keep off the weight they…
NYTIMES.COM|BY GINA KOLATA
I am sure that my lack of acceptance (or perceived lack of acceptance) because of my weight helped to make my Clinical Depression even more difficult.
I’m still on the journey. So far, I look at food and think “points.” I ate with family at Olive Garden and had the Points figured out before we arrived (and stuck to them). In two weeks I’ve lost five pounds. I’m not celebrating. I’ve been here before and I know the longer you go, the slower it sometimes gets.
I may never get to my goal. I may even have a hot fudge sundae once or twice or more. But I will stop blaming myself just because I want to be “normal”–if that’s what weighing an “appropriate” weight is.

 

 

 

 

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